As writers we have favorite subjects to write on, and styles we prefer. It’s a good thing. We have (or should be developing) areas we know well and are good at. We have a general focus. But. Sometimes we are asked or compelled to step out of our comfort zone.
Sometimes this is a good thing.
Sometimes it isn’t.
It all depends on the situation and how we look at things…
Sometimes we step out of our comfort zone because we have to. And in these cases we can find things we like and things that are very helpful to us. Sometimes we actually learn something.
Back in 2016 I published my first book Chainmail Bottle Carriers. In writing that book I found a few things I thought were better shown in a video than in the written style I was using. But… I had never written a video before much less made one.
I wanted to do it, but I didn’t have the experience or expertise in the area. Well, as much as I hate to admit it I see new subscribers on my You Tube channel more frequently than I see sales of that particular book here in 2018…
In practice I think I’ve reached more people because of the videos. But I had to get out of my comfort Zone to do it.
Recently Thomas S. Monson the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints died and an obituary was printed in the New York Times…
I happen to disagree with a number of points in that obituary. But I support the author in writing from the author’s own genuine stance and perspective.
There are a number of people who have pressured the Times to retract the obituary and even to force the author to ‘write a better one’. The thing is, if you try to put someone out of their comfort zone in this way (or if you allow yourself to be put out of your comfort zone in this way) you are creating a number of problems.
- If the original piece of writing was genuine you are forcing someone to be dishonest about what they think, feel, and believe. No matter how passionate you might be, you can’t claim to be honest and force someone to “agree” with you dishonestly while maintaining any sort of integrity in yourself.
- You run the risk of having things blow back on you (or if you’re the writer you run the risk of having the situation happen to you again).
They say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and this is precisely why I don’t’ agree with those who want the Times to retract their obituary and write a ‘better one’. Quite simply I support the author’s right to state a genuine opinion because I don’t want someone coming back at me and trying to force me to change my stance and opinion. If you force someone to dishonestly change their opinion you open the door for someone else to do it to you.
The take home
Sometimes it is good to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, but you need to be careful about doing it. If you are ding new things and writing new things with good purpose good things can come from it. If you are saying and writing new things because you are forced to do so, that’s dishonest and not good for you or the person making you do it.
That’s it for this one dear reader. Check out the video I just posted, and see you next week.